ABC News: Most Haven’t Saved for Long-Term Care

Whether they know it or not, accept it or not, the majority of Americans will need long term care at some point.

But many are ill-prepared to pay for it, writes ABC News in a recent article. Some will rely on individual savings, while others have sought the use of home equity to pay for in-home care, should they require it. 

Knowing the options, costs, and types of assistance that are available can at least help those seeking long term care navigate the process. 

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“Not enough people have some plan in place,” Jamie Hopkins, associate director of the retirement income program at The American College told ABC News. “It’s a lot of self-funding and relying on family members and Medicaid.”

ABC points to five tips including knowing the options; considering costs; understanding Medicare and Medicaid; deciding how to pay; and not delaying the decision. For some, they will find themselves too late for long-term care insurance, which is one of the options ABC advises for those on the younger end of the spectrum. Others may opt to convert an existing insurance policy into some form of long-term care benefit. 

Among the overall options such as tapping retirement savings, seeking insurance coverage or relying on government programs Medicare and Medicaid, a combined approach may be best. 

“Experts suggest using a combination that best suits your needs,” ABC writes. 

View the ABC News article.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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  • Long-term care is a serious concern for aging individuals, especially to those who haven’t saved adequately. The cost of these services should not be underestimated, even if you decided to rely on family members, you must consider that this could mean loss of income for the family member who will provide care to you, they may even end up quitting their jobs to be your caregiver.
    The problem usually starts when the need for care arises, too often, people think about long-term care cost when they already require the services. Based on the average cost of long term care (www.ltcoptions.com/long-term-care-state/), home health aide is around $40-50K per month, how are we going to pay for it?
    I agree that planning for long-term care should not be delayed, because waiting too long may pose another risk, you could end up depleted of all your assets, or if you plan to buy long-term care insurance, you may no longer qualified due to health and mobility issues.
    When planning for long-term care, we should also be able to put into consideration the following factors: needs, financial capability, preferences, payment method and legalities.

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